How to get the most out of College Open Events

If you are in your final year of High School you probably have already begun to think about what you are going to do next. It can be quite a daunting task to navigate through all the options available to you and a great place to start is by attending College Open Events. Just like picking a High School it is important to do your research and visit colleges you might be interested in. You are investing your time, so make the most of it with some of our top tips for visiting college open events.

Register for the event and beat the queues

Register for a college open event to save time

It seems like an obvious one, but letting the College know you are coming helps them to prepare for your visit. College’s also have a responsibility to keep you, all the other visitors and their current students safe – so they need to know who is on campus. You’ll usually find you can register on arrival, but this can lead to you being in a queue to ‘Check in’ before you get chance to speak to the tutors you came to see. Registering before means you have more time to enjoy the event!

Prepare for your visit

Be prepared for your college open event

Think about what you might like to do after you’ve finished school. Here are few questions you can ask yourself before the open event…

• Would you prefer to go to college and study a full-time course like a T-Level or technical qualification, or would you prefer to get an Apprenticeship and earn while you learn?
• Which subjects do you enjoy at school? Do you want to pursue these?
• Do you need to speak to any support services about bus passes, bursaries or support teams?
• Check the location of the College, how are you going to get there? Is there a bus service or is there car parking available on site or nearby?

Think about the career you want

Ask questions to prepare for your college open event

If you know the career you want then you can head straight to that curriculum area when you arrive – another time saver! If you have a number of careers you are considering then prepare a list (this can be in your head or written down) and ask the staff to direct you to the areas. If you are unsure about which career is for you then try some online career quizzes to help you narrow it down. Preston College has ‘Career Coach’ which includes a career assessment tool, a quiz where you can answer either 6, 30 or 60 questions depending on how detailed you want the assessment.

During the event

check in to the college open event and get your questions answered

Arrive and check in. Staff and students will be on-hand to direct or escort you to the areas that you are interested in. When you arrive at the classroom you’ll be able to speak to tutors about the courses on offer, the careers it can lead to and how best to get there. You can also ask questions about destinations (where have other students gone after completing the course), pass results and additional opportunities such as guest speakers, workshops, scholarships, trips and visits.

College Open Events are designed to show you the best that the College has to offer, you can see the learning facilities, and you can meet staff, tutors and students. Make the most of the opportunity by taking a tour and having some questions ready. Remember your goal is to see if it is the College for you! Most colleges hold a number of events throughout the year, so it is a good idea to follow them on social media and visit their websites regularly to keep up-to-date with what is happening on campus.

You can register for the Preston College March Event here

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About the Author

check in to the college open event and get your questions answered

Dave has been working in the Education sector for over twenty years. During that time he has visited 100s of schools in the Lancashire region and helped thousands of students take their next steps after school providing support and careers advice and guidance. Dave is currently undertaking a Level 6 in Information Advice and Guidance to further his knowledge and skills in the sector. On a day to day basis Dave is working at Preston College as the Recruitment and Progression Manager for 14-19 year olds organising the College events such as Open Days, Tasters and Welcome Evenings. When he’s not on campus he will be visiting schools in the local area, delivering presentations, attending careers fairs and hosting workshops.

5 responses to “How to get the most out of College Open Events”

  1. Lee has an EHCP for social and emotional difficulties as well as learning difficulties. We would be interested in talking to the SEND department and learning about entry level and foundation pathways courses.

  2. Hi,
    Our Student Support team are always in attendance at our open events should you wish to speak to someone face to face. You can also get in touch with the team to discuss your support needs further by phone 01772 225328 or email You can find out more on our SEND support page here
    Preston College

  3. Hi Sarah,

    Our next Year 10 & 11 Open Event is on Wednesday 8th March, 4-7pm. You can register for the event here
    Preston College

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